On 29th August 2019, all FYBAMMC students visited the National Museum of Indian Cinema, at Pedder Road, Mumbai. The museum, was designed by the National Council of Science Museums. This museum showcases the rich heritage of Indian Cinema and is housed in two buildings – Phase I, comprising static exhibits tracing the evolution of cinema, in a 19th-century heritage bungalow, Gulshan Mahal, and Phase II, with interactive galleries – in a swanky five-storeyed structure with angular lines and those tiresome glass facades.
Gulshan Mahal features the early history of Indian cinema, starting with that famous first show of the Lumiere brothers’ films in Mumbai in 1896. It moves on to document the evolution of Indian cinema, from the silent films era to the transition to talkies, the pioneers of filmmaking and its game-changers, including GD Phalke, PC Barua, Mrinal Sen etc. It showcases movie posters from the old era right up to today’s modern stage. The new building has its own allure, the kind that technology offers. It consists of four exhibition halls on four different floors– 1st Floor-Gandhi and Cinema, 2nd Floor-Children’s Film Studio,3rd Floor-Technology, Creativity and Indian Cinema, and 4th Floor for Cinema Across India.
The Gandhi section explains Gandhi’s role in cinema. The children’s studio was the most interesting part of the museum for us. It had a glimpse of the technical aspects of contemporary cinema is offered simulated set ups that explain Chroma keying, stop-motion Animation, VFX and Sound effects and Mixing. Level three, with exhibits about technology and creativity that goes in films consisted of an array of cameras, lenses, lights, mixing apparatus with stories of how our filmmakers and technicians used them to create screen cinema. There is a production timeline which is useful in understanding just how much work goes on behind the screens before a film is made available to the public.
The topmost floor was also very interesting. It comprised of the Cinema Across India exhibit, is the history section featuring great films, artistes and filmmakers. It includes short films and plaques on costume and make-up, film music and dance, film festivals, film institutes and bodies, popular foreign locations, legendary studios, documentaries, the influence of art, politics and literature, certifications and awards.
The National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai is as expansive as the country’s film industries and this was a great experience for us especially as we are all media students.
Overall it’s a delight for all movie buffs. This visit provided us with fascinating facts and information about Indian Cinema and its evolution.
We would like to thank our faculty Mrs. Joulyn Kenny for accompanying us, and for planning such an educationally enriching visit.
– FAAIZA KHAN ( FYBAMMC)